Monday, November 5, 2012

Here Comes The Sun

Since bringing home those adorable baby chicks back in April I can say (without question) that I have learned something new everyday.  And, with the exception of Lois, our youngest chicken, the ladies are all now large, lovely egg producing hens.

For the last two months we have been averaging four eggs a day and, any day, now Lois will bring that number up to five.  It has been a thrill each day collecting our bounty.

Now I have learned yet another new chicken fact.  Chickens take issue with winter, specifically the lack of daylight.  The ladies are finicky about their sunshine quantity and hold back the eggs as mother nature holds back on her daylight hours.  Just when we were getting a steady production, mother nature shuts us down.

As far as I'm concerned, the ladies and I have come too far to let this little snafu get in our way and after a bit of "Googling" and a bit of foraging in the storage shed. we had our solution.  A "Faux" sunrise  was installed the the coop late last week, an outdoor light set on a timer.   "Voila"!  A new sunrise to hopefully keep the ladies in check.

Will they get it?  Will it work?  Or have I just installed a crazy chicken interrogation lamp?

Day one:  There were five seriously confused and tired looking chickens.  Having them in bathrobes and curlers would only have made the image more perfect.  Better yet, it was as if I had awakened the teenager on his first day of school.  I swear they were squinting and bumping into each other and asking who set the alarm sooooo darn early?    And when does the interrogation begin?

That night the lamp gets moved to simulate something closer to sun-rise and less "Old detective movie".

Day two:  The ladies appear less confused and go about their regular morning routine.  The food and water is now lit up and its breakfast as usual.  Only two eggs today...

The ladies before the dawn

Day three:  It worked!  Back to 4 eggs a day.  And the ladies seem to be happy to be back to work.

On a side note: if there is no rooster present, one of the hens will take on the "rooster" roll call and attempt to Cock-a-doodle-doo at sunrise.  Fran, our "faux rooster", thankfully has not adopted the new sunrise as her call to arms and still does her crowing at the actual sun rise.

Fran, our Buff Orpinton